The Beam Lift Toolbox

The chapters referenced for each program are from "The Beam Lift Handbook", by Drs. Bommer and Podio and published by the Petroleum Extension (PETEX) at The University of Texas at Austin. Each program has been created with care, but the results are not guaranteed or warranted by the authors or PETEX. The user is welcome to communicate with the authors either through the PETEX web site or the faculty web site at the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (, The University of Texas at Austin. The Excel spreadsheets have been protected so that only the data entry cells can be accessed. This is to free the user from worry about accidentally hitting a cell that contains a formula and deleting the formula. If the user wishes to change any of the formulas the spreadsheet can be unprotected by the user.

Spreadsheets and Calculators

Unit Conversion Calculator

This is an Excel workbook with a spreadsheet page for each measurement. The spreadsheets are protected so that only the input cells can be changed. The tables that were used to create the workbook are in Chapter 4.


Rod Buckling

This is an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the buckling force on the bottom rod due to flow through the plunger. The spreadsheet is protected so that only the data input cells can be changed. The results do not include friction in the pump from any other source save flow through the plunger. So, the results represent the minimum buckling force acting on the bottom rod. A liquid viscosity calculator is on the bottom of the spreadsheet that can be used to estimate the liquid viscosity. A table on the bottom shows the force necessary to buckle a rod of a given diameter. If the buckling force is more than the critical force necessary to buckle the bottom rod, sinker bars should be used to offset the buckling force as described in Chapter 7.


Torque Factors, Kinematics, and Dynamometer Analysis

This Excel workbook has a spreadsheet page for the four common pumping units (Conventional, Mark II, Air Balanced, and Reverse Mark) and a page that can be used to compare the motion of the four types. Each page is protected so that only the data input cells can be changed. Each page can be used a variety of ways based on Chapter 8.

(1) As a torque factor and motion calculator. By entering the measurements for a given pumping unit plus the pumping speed and the direction of crank rotation the torque factors, polished rod position, velocity, and acceleration are computed for every 5 degrees of crank rotation. The polished rod position, velocity, and acceleration are plotted versus crank angle.

(2) As a dynamometer calculator. In addition to part (1) if the polished rod load at every 5 degrees of crank rotation and the effective counterbalance at 90 degrees can be input from a dynamometer then the gear box torque is computed and plotted. The polished rod dynamometer shape is also plotted and compared to permissible loads that represent the maximum gear box torque or beam rating. The counterbalance can be adjusted to determine the best balance for the unit and to see what difference the new balance makes to the gear box torque.


Momentum Transfer from Beam Counter Weights

This Excel spreadsheet calculates the momentum transfer in pounds that occurs during the up and down stroke of a conventional unit that has counter weights on the tail of the beam. The dimensions of the unit, the mass of the beam counter balance weights, and the speed of the unit must be known. The results show the extra force that the unit structure and bearings must support due to the acceleration of the beam. The larger the mass of the beam weights and the faster the pumping speed, the larger the extra force that is created by momentum transfer.

Beam Lift System Design Calculators

Several pumping design programs all based on the venerable API Recommended Practice 11L. These are useful tools when a program using a more general solution to the 1-D wave equation (such as QROD or RODSTAR or S-ROD) is not available.


Pumping Speed, Pump Capacity, and Fluid Correlations

This Excel workbook has spreadsheet pages to compute:

(1) The necessary sheaves to achieve a desired pumping speed. This includes the use of a jack shaft if necessary. A supplemental page shows a diagram of the gear box driven directly by the prime mover and through the use of a jack shaft. Belt speed is computed and the recommended limits are shown. This is discussed in Chapter 8.

(2) The pump output at the surface. This includes the effect of anchored (always recommended) and unanchored tubing. The pump slippage is also calculated and used to compute the pump efficiency. This shows the effects of plunger clearance and length, pumping speed, and fluid viscosity on pump performance. This page also shows the maximum volumes of liquid and gas that can be successfully separated by the traditional "poor boy" downhole gas-liquid separator or mud anchor assuming it is placed above the perforations. These topics are discussed in Chapters 6 and 10.

(3) Fluid correlations for liquid viscosity, solution gas-oil ratio, and oil formation volume factor for use on the other pages or for general information. The correlations are from Chapter 4.

Predicting Sucker Rod Life

Presents an alternative to the API Modified Goodman Diagram as a method to predict rod life.

Downstroke Compression Effect on Rods

Experimental results using real pumps to predict the downstroke compression on the bottom rods and the effects of this compression.

Testing of Novel Downhole Separator

Experimental results testing a novel downhole gas-liquid separator.



Downhole Gas Separator

Monitoring and Analysis of Performance Using a Dynamometer

These are videos that correspond to example data listed in Table 2.2 of The Beam Lift Handbook. The animations are computed from the measured dynamometer data using the TAM software of Echometer. Videos can be downloaded by right-clicking on the corresponding link.

Transparent Well and Pump Videos


Links to Free Applications

Links to Seminars and Technical Meetings


Links to Equipment Manufacturers

Links to Commercial Beam Pumping Software